The moment the words came out of his mouth I wanted to sink into a hole and hide. “Daddy, I wish you had time to…” It didn’t matter what he said next. The problem was clear. My son wanted more of my time. It had been on his mind enough to say something about it.
Spending more time with my kids is one of many things on my I-Wish-I-Had-Time-For list. Sound familiar?
Think of the things you’d do if you “just had more time“…
Work out, play with your kids, finish work projects, write a book, read a book, play sports, go out with friends, travel, call your mom, call your dad, watch TV, take up a new hobby, see a movie, and I could go on. You get the point.
You have a list of things you would do if you had more time. You believe life would be better (and easier) if you were better at managing your time.
There’s just one problem with this.
It’s not true.
Your time management problem doesn’t exist. When you say you “don’t have time” to do something, what you are really saying is “it’s not a priority to me“.
There is no such thing as a time management problem. There is only a priority management problem.
You make the time for your priorities. That’s a tough pill to swallow. It was for me. My kids are a priority so how could I not be making time for them? The reality is that as much as I wanted to spend extra time with them, I wasn’t making it a priority.
Once you grasp this, you can make adjustments to the things you make time for.
How To Re-Set Your Priorities:
- Start With Your Agenda First
Break the habit of starting your day checking email, social media, or even reviewing your to-do list. These are rabbit holes that prevent you from working on the exact thing you feel you don’t have time for. Start with your agenda, not responding to someone else’s.
- Stop Over-Consuming Celebrity Gossip & News
How much time do you spend a day reading, watching or listening to content that doesn’t enhance your life? If you spent a day keeping track, you’d be surprised at how much time this robs from you. Don’t waste precious moments on things that don’t move you closer to your goals.
- Eliminate Distractions and Interruptions
It’s easier to stick to your priorities when you’re not being interrupted constantly. Go to extremes to protect yourself from distractions. Use website blockers (Freedom is a great tool) to keep yourself off social media while you finish a project. Turn your phone off to prevent unscheduled phone calls. Set yourself up for success.
- Schedule Personal Time
You schedule business meetings and tasks. Do the same for the personal things in life. It may feel weird to schedule date nights with your spouse or play dates with your kids. But this is how it becomes a priority. Schedule it and treat it like you would a business appointment (meaning, don’t cancel it just because you’re behind on work)
The time is there. You don’t have to “make it” or “find it”. You just have to assign it.